Misty hills, cold climates and the feeling of being in the hills… that is what Coorg, or Kodagu, offers. It may not be the only place that offers these things, but it certainly is one of the more popular ones. What it also offers is a huge variety of places to stay in Coorg that each have their own positives and negatives.
Coorg is a place known for its cool climate and the coffee. It is also known for their honey, but as I have been informed, by a local, that is just showmanship. There is no such thing as Coorg Honey any more… the honey comes from all over the country.
But I digress. Getting back on topic; the purpose of this article is to talk to you about some of the places to stay in Coorg. From the onset, I will say that I have stayed at all of these places, and I would heartily recommend 4 of the 5. But, of course, the location will also depend on what you are looking for out of your trip to this place.
So what are the places to stay in Coorg and where should you stay?
1. Cloud Valley
This is the first place I had stayed at in Coorg. It is a bit far from Madikeri because you need to drive down to Cherambane where the owner of the resort will meet you to guide you in. You are going to need that guidance since this place is deep in the coffee estates and navigating the tiny roads is not that easy.
This property is the same one on which he stays, and is just about 100 m from his own house. It has two bedrooms on the ground floor and a HUGE loft. Even the loft has an attached bathroom. The place is located in the middle of coffee plantations and is quite close (5-minute walk) from the backwaters of the river Cauvery.
Price: Somewhere around Rs. 1,500 per person per day. Prices are not listed on the site so you’ll have to call to know the actual rates.
Accommodation: The rooms are not luxurious, but they aren’t rudimentary either. They are comfortable and nice.
Food: The food is a solid 4/5. You can eat at the homestay, but you’ll have to inform the host beforehand. It will be home-cooked food and will be very tasty.
Distance from Madikeri: About 24 to 28 km from Madikeri.
Why this place?
This place is very close to the backwaters of the river Cauvery, so it’s very quiet and secluded. It’s a good place for a weekend away from the crowd.
2. Cloud Valley
No, I haven’t made a mistake and mentioned this place twice. The guy who runs Cloud Valley, Uday, has two properties. The previous one is a modern construction while the second one is the ancestral home. It has a nice hall, 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, and a lot of ground around it.
All the rooms have bathrooms attached to them and double beds too. The house can easily accommodate a group of 8 people and, truth be told, that is what the owner prefers (booking one group in the house at a time so that there are no clashes).
Price: Once again, since the price is not listed on the site, you can expect a cost of about Rs. 2,000 per person per day.
Accommodation: The building is an old house that has been refurbished. It’s nice and cosy and has a good amount of space around it for some fun and games.
Food: The food is a 4/5. The same home-cooked food that you get at the other place.
Distance from Madikeri: This place is about 25 km from Madikeri.
Why this place?
This is ideal to go for a secluded vacation but with a larger group. There is parking available for cars, and the whole setting of a house in the middle of coffee estates is quite peaceful.
If a place to stay in Coorg means a nice comfy hotel then Crystal Court is a good bet. This hotel is located in the town of Madikeri. It is, in fact, located quite close to the point where you enter the town from. A bog-standard hotel, there is nothing remarkable or negative that I can say about it. It just is. Not bad but it’s no 5-star either.
The service is fine, and so are the rooms. It has ample parking space for your car. It also has a restaurant that offers decent food. The biggest advantage of this place is that being in Madikeri, it is close to a lot of the things to see.
Price: The cost of the rooms can range from Rs. 3000, to Rs. 3,800 per person per day (including taxes).
Accommodation: The accommodation is typical of a hotel. Clean big rooms, with balconies for some. It is comfortable.
Food: The food is 3/5. There are better places to eat, like the East End Hotel. The food here is meant more for when you are hungry and don’t want to go anywhere.
Distance from Madikeri: This place is in Madikeri.
Why this place?
The one reason you can decide to chose this place is for its proximity to Madikeri. Since it is right in the city, you are close to all the places you may want to go to.
Now, this is a place that was really worth noting. It is not too far from the town of Madikeri and boasts of rooms with some truly awesome views. What they have done is to remove most of the wall that faces the valley, and replace it with glass and a balcony. The rooms are big with lots of room to move around in. The rooms and the beds overlook the valley and make for some really good views to wake up to.
There is one thing you will have to keep in mind though. The approach to this place is quite steep and a bit rough, so don’t take a low-slung car. That doesn’t mean you need a Hummer to get here, because I went here in an Alto K10.
Price: This place charges over Rs. 3,000 per person per day. They also allow for an extra bed in the room.
Accommodation: Nice big rooms with fantastic views.
Food: The food is 4/5. They offer veterinarian and non-vegetarian food and it’s all cooked right there.
Distance from Madikeri: This place is in Madikeri but a bit of a drive away from the town. It’s located about 3 km from the city centre.
Why this place?
This place offers you the experience of a homestay while keeping you within a decent distance of the city. This means that a quick drive to the shops is not a daunting task as it can be with Three Hills and Cloud Valley.
5. Three Hills
Three Hills is a resort that I stayed at in July of 2018. As far as the location is concerned, it is by far one of the best! The place offers you a choice of staying in a tent or in a wood cabin. It is surrounded by hills on all sides and is very beautiful.
There is a villa too, but that is meant for groups of 6 to 8 people. It is quite far from Madikeri and just getting to the main road takes nearly 40 min, so anything you want to have with you, you’d better bring along. The best part is that once you check-in you don’t have to worry about getting bored because there are things to do here.
You can take a walk around the place. It’s a really nice walk, and will lead you to a small river/tributary that has its own waterfall and some benches to sit around on. You can walk along the stream as well. Once you are done with that, you can also go to the dining room of the resort and play pool or table tennis to keep busy. There is a lot of good photography to be done here too.
As far as getting to this place is concerned, we went on the bike, but any other car will also make it up the narrow road.
Price: The price of the tent was about Rs. 1,500 per person, per day (taxes excluded). The cabin costs slightly more.
Accommodation: The tents and the cabin are really nice and spacious. They have a double bed, a couch, a tv, a bathroom and a sofa in them with room to walk around in.
Food: The food is a 4/5. They cater to vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Distance from Madikeri: This place is 20 km from Madikeri, but the drive takes almost an hour because the last 10 km are on a narrow hill road.
Why this place?
The question should by WHY NOT? This place offers serene beauty and peace along with good food and a nice drive. This has become my go-to place now.
The place I recommend you stay at
Of all the places to stay in Coorg, if you want to really get away from the hustle-bustle of the city then you have to go to Three Hills. There can be no better choice. It offers a very scenic ride/drive to the resort and is far from the city. It may have the luxury of hot water and nice tents/cabins, but it also plays the soundtrack of the jungle, which is 1001 cicadas chirping away to glory.
If you want a place slightly closer to civilisation, then it has to be Balakrishna Homestay. If you want to enjoy to peace and quiet of Coorg, I would recommend that you don’t stay at Crystal Court, not because it’s bad or anything, but because it’s just too… commercial.
How to get to Coorg from Bangalore
Coorg is about 254 Km from Bangalore, and it will take you about 5 to 6 hours to drive up to this place. What you have to do is:
- Head down Mysore Road
- Just after to pass Srirangapatna, keep to your right
- You’ll come to a big round-about. Here you need to turn right and take the road under the railway overpass
- Stay on this road for some time. You will merge with bigger roads twice.
- After you have merged with the main road for the second time, watch out for a split in the road.
- When you reach it, take the road on the right. You can only go left or right, so it’s not confusing.
- From here on, just keep to your left and you’ll reach Madikeri in an hour or so.
- Make sure you don’t turn off the road in Kushalnagar.
What is the best time to go to Coorg?
Now that we know where to stay and how to get to Coorg, the question of when to go there comes up. The best time to go is during the winters since its nice and chilly there. The rainy season is the other option but remember that if it’s during the rains that you go, then you may spend a lot of time indoors.
My preference is the monsoon because it makes for some awesome riding weather and is cool enough. The summers are one time where I have not been to Coorg in, but I have heard that in the summers it’s pretty hot and not so nice.
What are the things to do in Coorg?
Now that we have a place to stay in and a time to get there, what do you do once you are there? There are a lot of things you can do in and around Coorg. Here is a list of what you could do:
- Go for a hike on the Tadiandamol trek. You’ll have to drive to the beginning of the trek and it’s not exactly close if you are staying at any of the places mentioned above. The trek itself will take a good chunk out of your day so plan accordingly.
- Visit the fort: You can visit the fort in the town of Madikeri and walk along its walls or visit the small museum on the premises.
- Go to Abbi Falls: Abbi Falls is a big and broad waterfall in a coffee estate and is close to Madikeri, making it a good place to go to. However, I would advise avoiding it on the weekends since it gets quite crowded.
- Go shopping for coffee: Since Coorg is known for its coffee, you might be tempted to buy some. If you do want to then go to a shop opposite Raja’s Seat. They sell really nice coffee. The brand is called KalluCoppa Coffee.
- Indulge in some adventure: There are lots of establishments around Coorg where you can go and do some rock climbing, ride around on ATVs, and try paintball, among other such outdoor pursuits.
- Visit the Namdroling monastery: Kushalnagar is home to a Tibetan settlement, and they have a monastery there too. You can go visit it on your way back from Coorg. There is some decent shopping to be done there, and some nice food to be had as well.
- Do some river rafting: Kushalnagar also offers you the opportunity to indulge in some river rafting. The rafting is more for fun than experience because the rapids are not even grade 1.
Activities & timing aside, what are the places to eat at?
When it comes to eating, most homestays offer some really nice authentic Coorg style food. It’s tasty, and the portions are sufficient. But if you are in Madikeri then East End Hotel is one choice to look into. It serves nice food and alcohol as well. If you sit out on the balcony then you get to eat while you look at a nice view.
Things to consider when going to Coorg
While Coorg is a really good weekend getaway for those of you in Bangalore, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when going there.
- Cell service is not good the further you go from Madikeri. It’s basic at best, so no 4G internet.
- There are no trains, so the only option to go is by road.
- Don’t go on a Saturday and come back on a Sunday. That’s too short a duration to enjoy the trip.
- Not all establishments serve alcohol, so if you plan to drink in the evening, then carry some with you.
- Most places need you to tell them your lunch/dinner plans, so if you want to eat at the resort then inform them well in advance.
- When it rains, its pours. While this does not cause any problems on the road, it will mean a lot of time spent indoors.
- While there are buses that ply between Bangalore and Coorg, you should take a cab or your own vehicle so that you have ample mobility to do what you want.
Now that you’re here, what about your Facebook updates?
Well that is going to have to be put on hold because with the exception of Crystal Court and Balakrishna Homestay, none of the other places have enough cell phone coverage to bring you the joys of social media (it’s a good thing too, otherwise you’d miss out on all the beauty that surrounds you).
That said, you should also note that if you are staying at a place that needs you to make the payment via money transfers, it’s best to complete all that work in the city because once the signal on your phone degrades, you won’t be able to log into any of your banking options. If that is not an option, then you can confirm if your hosts will accept cash payments.